Seedlings outgrowing their containers

It's that time of year again and I've been behind the scenes getting ready for it by planting about 10,000 vegetable seeds. Not really but it sure felt like it each day as I walked into my bedroom where the little creatures were beginning to grow rapidly, restlessly in their small confines.

Two weekends ago, my partner and I (we'll call him P since he's blog shy) took an early plunge into the backyard garden beds and hauled in several thousand pounds of garden mix. These projects always seem to work out easier in my mind than they actually do in reality (curses on reality!) but we muddled through the challenge of maneuvering an overloaded Home Depot truck through the neighborhood and into the backyard where we unloaded the mix one... single... heavy... wheelbarrow at a time.

The weather, an overcast drizzly mist, was mostly cooperative. We'd already gone through the rototilling process before unloading the truck. Thankfully, P reminded me that I might want to dump the contents of my year long compost project into the garden during the rototilling process. Thank goodness for his lovely brain. It might have been October before I remembered that this was the very reason I was composting in the first place. Duh.

Almost as soon as we were done, it began to rain in earnest and the temps dropped so low that it was back to huddling by the wood stove again, or as P likes to put it, knees to the fire. I probably got that wrong which seems impossible since I've heard him say it no less than 50 times over the course of the winter. At any rate, it was the perfect week to allow the beds to rest and by weekend, the forecast looked favorable enough to begin planting.

On planting day, we bumped into our neighbor on our way home from breakfast. She forewarned us that our friendly neighborhood woodchuck was already afoot, undoubtedly on the prowl for some springtime appetizers to fill his tummy after a long winter's nap. I thanked her for the intel which prompted another trip to Home Depot to purchase some chicken wire fencing, posts, and twine to build a barricade which will likely amuse the fella.

According to the internet, a two-foot deep trench should be dug around the garden bed, strong fencing inserted to about two or three feet above ground level, then the top bent at a 90-degree angle to create an awkward climbing structure.

Holy Mackerel!

The more I read, the crazier the advice seemed to get including recipes for woodchuck stew. Sometimes I long for the days when we didn't have access to so much information and a person could live their entire life never realizing that their neighbor was feeding their children woodchuck for dinner.

I finally backed away from Google, calculated the cost of the recommended woodchuck fence and was left with an oddly familiar sounding quandary: Who was going to pay for this wall?

Not feeling overly Trumpish, and figuring the woodchuck wasn't in a position to chip in monetarily, I leaned left and settled on a more peace-love-and-tie-dye approach to the matter. We are all reasonable creatures, right? I'll post a few signs, plant some pinwheels, marigolds, build a small wire fence, then pepper spray the heck out of the area and Mr. Woodchuck will simply choose to eat clover growing elsewhere out yonder.

That's Plan A.
There is no Plan B.

I think I get that from my father, who explained his business strategy to me one day which went something like, "Well, I go in with Plan A and there doesn't need to be a Plan B because I don't give up until Plan A is achieved." I think in his mind, creating Plan B means you've already acknowledged Plan A won't work which simply means it wasn't the right plan to begin. Hey, it works for him so there ya go! I've got my Plan A. Meanwhile, P is busy making popcorn so he can settle in to watch the show. Whatevs.

There you have it. The wall and garden are enroute. It's the earliest I've ever planted but I wanted to get a jumpstart on a busy summer schedule. The weather has been cooperating nicely and there have been, thus far, no signs of Mr. Woodchuck. The wall still needs some work so hopefully the little fella gives me a few more days before snooping around.

This year's garden lineup is:

  • Tomatoes
  • Peppers
  • Eggplant
  • Brocolli
  • Cabbage
  • Zucchini
  • Summer Squash
  • Butternut Squash
  • Pumpkins
  • Cucumbers
  • Green Beans
  • Peas
  • Carrots
  • Kale
  • Lettuce
  • Cilantro
  • Sage
  • Rosemary
  • Sweet Basil
  • Chives
  • Scallions
  • Sunflowers
  • Mint
  • Spearmint
  • Rhubarb
  • Persimmons
  • Raspberries

Pretty sweet lineup if you ask me and almost all of it planted from seed or returning from last year. The exception is some Kale I received from my father that are part of an experiment happening at his local farm. More on that another day.

Next up, I need to plant some marigolds, pinwheels, mix up some pepper spray, and secure the fence line. The game is afoot!

Backyard garden bed full planted and with woodchuck wall

Tomato garden bed

herb bed with chives

herb bed with cilantro and peppers